Turkey show celebrates 50 years

The UK’s premiere turkey association, the Anglian Turkey Association, has celebrated 50 years since its establishment with a gala dinner and turkey show at Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel, Colchester, Essex.

ATA chairman Richard Beanland told guests that once there were similar similar shows organised in Wales, Wessex and Yorkshire, but the ATA’s show was last survivor.

Eighty turkeys were presented traditionally show plucked, leaving the bronze or white feathers around the neck, and competed for the many silver award trophies dating from the 1950s.

Founder David Grove Smith’s oven-ready turkey, raised at Shalford near Braintree, took home the trophy for best oven-ready turkey as judged by ATA president Derek Kelly, of Kelly Bronze Turkeys.

The show and banquet was attended by a record number of almost 250 people and saw roast turkeys piped into the room, reminiscent of a Burns Night haggis supper.

The ATA now has around 150 members from across the country.

Winners of the trophies were:

Stag under 11kg, William Weeks, Billericay, Essex

Hen under 5.5kg, Mick Binder, Rumburgh, Halesworth, Suffolk

Hen 5.5-8kg, Cottage Farm, Badgers Mount, Sevenoaks, Kent

Hen over 11kg, Ian Wylie, Newmarket, Suffolk

Brace of white turkeys, Grove Smith Turkeys, Shalford, Braintree,

Brace of bronze turkeys, Ian Wylie

Oven-ready under 11kg, Grove Smith Turkeys

Retail presentation, Cottage Farm

Goodchild trophy for services to turkey industry, Martin Shea, Hockenhull Turkeys.